Financing the non-profit sector in Mantova
07 / 1993
Iniziative di Solidarietà - IDS - was started in 1989 as a scheme to financing social and ecological voluntary groups in the Province of Mantova (Lombardy, Italy). IDS plays a mediating role, helping identify social projects and ways to support them using private savings. It has a networking role but does not operate as a holding. Its coordination group is made up of nine highly-motivated people that intend to promote the projects of the non profit-making groups in Mantova and their relations with the local community. IDS aims and supports the services of voluntary organizations including: financing, public relations and project consultancy.
Funds for projects come from members’ savings that are put in a separate bank account. Members agree to receive a very low interest rate from these savings or no interest at all. Members of the cooperative contributing with their own savings to the fund can personally verify projects before, during and after the implementation of a financing scheme. At the beginning activities were run by one member of staff who was already working as a financial planning consultant. IDS is presently transferring this financial service and consultancy to another cooperative - Hike. Hike’s Board of Directors is made up of the same people promoting Ids activities. Beside these new financial activities, Hike is a therapeutical community with social projects.
Ids also has a close relationship with local environmentalist groups. In order to improve its activities Ids has promoted a watchdog committee of people not directly involved in IDS or in the projects that receive support. They help assess the aims of each project, its coherence and the internal participation in running the project itself.
It is very likely that IDS will increase its activities in the next few years. Until now it has limited itself to financial support to non profit-making projects.
Translated by Alessio Surian
DAVICO, Luca, IRED NORD, 1993 (ITALY)
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